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Quirky little arcade game
This rather bizarre little life sim mixes elements of later games like Spore with arcade elements to create an intriguing little experiment that is remarkably ambitious for its time (it was actually released in 1983 not 1997) but it not successful enough to be considered a true classic. Players are thrust into the role of an amoeba struggling up the evolutionary chain, with the ultimate aim of becoming a human. There are six distinct stages to the process, which form the game's levels and which consist of a series of mini action games, each with their own particular task. For example, the first stage, played as the amoeba, is a sort of Pacman style affair, where you must avoid spores and microbes while gobbling up the DNA that floats around, while the later gorilla stage requires you to protect your fruit stores from mischievous monkeys. The games are all pretty simple, and are engaging to differing levels but as a whole, Evolution doesn't really work. The graphics are of course crude, as is the sound, but this was 1983 after all so it can be forgiven. The gameplay fares better, and generally the levels are all quite well paced and provide some fairly hectic fun, with controls that are accessible and generally responsive. However, they are all quite short, so the game runs out of appeal rather too soon. This is a shame really, as the concept is unusual enough to mark Evolution out as being of interest. For a more enjoyable and longer lasting take on a similar idea, check out EVO: Search for Eden.
Gameplay wise the game is like a prototypical version of Spore. Each evolutionary stage is depicted as a 2D game where your goals will be different. On the lower evolutionary scale levels you will be tasked with simpler interactions, food gathering, making sure your territory is not occupied by other creatures etc. Later on, the games gets more into the realm of strategy, played in real time but with a much simpler scope in mind. The game is interesting in its conceptual ideas, but ultimately lacks diversity, it lacks the kind of content to keep you playing for long and to keep you engaged. As such, you will lose interest after a while or will tend towards some of the minigames other than others. This can instead prompt you to crave the full experience hinted by these mechanics, and so, you will migrate towards Sims game or a more hands down strategy title. Either way, I acknowledge the intention, but I can't really say that it is fully developed. Better go for the modern Spore game, which is far superior to this title.